Kathleen Dumais (D), a 44-year-old Rockville resident, is beginning her first term representing Potomac, District 15, in the House of Delegates. She has never before held an elected office.
Although new to government, she has a strong feeling about what she’ll be dealing with in Annapolis.
“The budget, and the budget, and the budget,” Dumais said.
She feels her role will be ensuring that important programs get the funding they need. “What kind of funding is there for mental health?” said Dumais. “Also important is making sure Thornton is funded.” The Thornton Commission findings resulted in changing the funding formulas for Maryland public schools, bringing significantly more money to Montgomery County schools.
Transportation is a concern for all Montgomery County delegates — Dumais is no exception.
“This year, the goal is to get moving,” she said, not intending any pun. She believes the environmental study for the ICC should begin.
“We need to move forward with it,” Dumais said.
The Purple Line is another of her concerns. She believes the state must make sure it is ready to ask the federal government for funding. “We need to make sure that we are prepared,” Dumais said.
Dumais will be serving on the House Judiciary Committee.
“It’s a good fit, given I’m a family law attorney,” she said. The committee will be dealing with topics Dumais has expertise with in her professional life, such as juvenile justice, family law and domestic violence.
“One of the issues I’m very interested in is changing the judicial election process,” Dumais said. Currently, judges are elected in competitive races, but there are plans to change that system. However, a change in the process would require a constitutional amendment. Part of the amendment process calls for a statewide vote. Noting that there is no election this year, Dumais is still hoping to press forward. “This year will be used, as a minimum, to educate,” Dumais said.